With the determination to advance the deep tech startup ecosystem in India and boost tech innovation in the Indian IT sector, MeitY Startup Hub has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the IPO-bound payments platform Paytm. The partnership is going to give a platform of knowledge series, experts, resources, and a large community of stakeholders to help deep tech startups scale.
The partnership is going to work on SaaS and app-based startups built on deep tech like AI/ML cloud computing, blockchain, etc. They are going to give mentorship, tech assistance and go-to-market strategies in partnerships with incubators, accelerators, investors.
Praveen Sharma, senior vice president, Paytm, said, “The partnership is going to bring many benefits for the Indian startup ecosystem. It is going to support Indian startups by giving them access to mentorship, networking and business opportunities. We think the collaborative approach is going to prove truly favourable for Indian startups.”
A startup toolkit is going to be given to participants to address payments, distribution and growth challenges. A unicorn talk series is there to inspire, mentor and guide startups to create many unicorns out of India.
India has produced 63 unicorn startups with Zetwerk entering the club just recently. But, there are only 10 SaaS Unicorn startups in the list of 63. Deeptech startups raised $136.14 Mn in 2019, representing a drop for the nascent deep tech sector. The sector had managed to enter amidst the top 10 choices for investors in the first half of 2020 but was phased out of the list by the end of the year.
India is also currently in its nascent stages of the AI revolution and according to a report by Accenture, when adopted with SaaS products, AI has the potential to add $957 Bn, or 15% of India’s existing gross value to the economy, by 2035. The pandemic also led to an increased usage of AI and robotics in healthcare and agritech leading to increased adoption of AI in the SaaS B2B sector. An interesting fact that emerged in the last few years is that 18% of all startups now leverage deep tech.
Even after this, there is a need for support from industry titans and the government to develop and build deep tech startups in India. The MoU between Paytm and MSH is a strong indicator of the provision of much-need support to deep tech startups in India.